At the Missouri Foundation for Health, they’ve started down a path that might be the end of business as usual for annual reports. Inspired by discussions at the 2007 Communications Network Fall conference about the need to rethink how foundations report on progress (a topic at the Chicago conference too), the foundation this year completely did away with its print annual report, says Bev Pfeifer-Harms, director of communications. Its fully online version takes viewers on a virtual journey around the state (via a virtual car) so they can hear from foundation grantees about their efforts to improve the health of Missouri’s citizens, especially those in vulnerable communities.
Leaders in all sectors today, from politics to urban planning to philanthropy, face a cynical and “information-overloaded” public. Each regards the other with skepticism, the public accusing leaders of being “out of touch” and leaders viewing the public as “unable or unwilling to understand the complexity” of the issue at hand.
How well do nonprofits communicate? To find out, Cause Communications partnered with Princeton Survey Research Associates International on a study of 500 nonprofit organizations.
Just as new and emerging digital technologies are changing the nature of foundation communications, these new communications tools are also changing grantmaking at some foundations. In some respects, we may be seeing a merging of both grantmaking and communications.
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